Sunday, December 21, 2008


I don't know where I got the wrong idea, but somehow, I thought that "Ponzi" was a mathematician or economist who described the swindle, maybe in the 18th or 19th century, some early student of probability and statistics. The Washington Post set me right with this interesting feature: One Name Stands Alone in The Grand Scheme of It All--Madoff? Meh. History Put Its Money on Ponzi.

1 comment:

Marvin said...

I dunno. Madoff certainly managed to con some big time investors and institutions.

I've often wondered why people start Ponzi schemes. They've got to know from the outset that everything is eventually going to fall apart. As soon as the growth of the scheme falters, bad things happen quickly. Is living the good life for a while worth the ultimate crash?

Actually, I imagine good old-fashion denial is at work here -- as it was with all the mortgages loans made to people who couldn't possibly pay the money back. As it is with the national debt?

Whoa, I don't even want to think about that. It's time for me to return to denial.